The Sleeper's Blog

A collection of opinions on the events in the rail industry from Rail Technology Magazine's most feared reporter, ‘The Sleeper’.

Blending irreverence with a much-needed dose of reality, these morsels of spite keep passengers’ best interests at heart and prove the old adage that 'the truth hurts'.

Interested in becoming a guest blogger? Email the editor.

Virgin receives more than 15,000 applications for Azuma drivers

Virgin receives more than 15,000 applications for Azuma drivers

21.10.16: More than 15,000 potential train drivers have applied to drive Virgin’s new fleet of Azuma trains. Virgin said the applications, which closed on 14 October, equated to nearly 200 for each of the 78 posts, the biggest recruitment drive...

Rail industry honours Olympic heroes

Rail industry honours Olympic heroes

18.10.16: Star Olympic and Paralympic athletes travelled from Manchester to London for victory celebrations thanks to free transport from the rail industry. The athletes took part in a parade in Manchester yesterday to celebrate their achievements, a...

Breaking down mental health barriers

Breaking down mental health barriers

12.10.16: Chris Langer, scheme intelligence manager at CIRAS, on the link between mental health, safety and confidential reporting. When the CIRAS hotline rings, and we speak to a reporter with a safety concern, very often much of what they say is un...

Rail academy construction progressing at pace

Rail academy construction progressing at pace

07.10.16: Industry efforts to deliver world-class training facilities for the next generation of rail workers are progressing at apace, as government ministers visited two sites this week. On Wednesday, transport secretary Chris Grayling visited the...

Could this be the station of the future?

Could this be the station of the future?

30.09.16: New images have brought to life a future where stations will be places to shop and socialise and not simply catch a train. The Rail Delivery Group (RDG) has released the images from bpr architects, which illustrate Station Place, a concept...

Leeds rail bridge to get rainbow repaint in celebration of LGBT community

Leeds rail bridge to get rainbow repaint in celebration of LGBT community

23.09.16: The Lower Briggate bridge in Leeds city centre will be repainted with the traditional LGBT rainbow colours after enough funds were raised by Leeds City Council and the local LGBT community. The bridge will be redecorated during engineering...

Two jobs, one stone: transferring the skills from a career in rail

Two jobs, one stone: transferring the skills from a career in rail

20.09.16: David Stinton, graduate civil engineer at AECOM and sapper in the Royal Engineers, had no idea that working in rail would give him the opportunity to pursue two fulfilling careers with crucial transferrable skills. I decided that I wanted t...

Skills swap: GWR and Amey apprentices trade places

Skills swap: GWR and Amey apprentices trade places

13.09.16: Apprentices from Great Western Railway (GWR) and Amey will be swapping places throughout this month as part of a “rare” cross-organisational skills exchange between the operator and the engineering consultancy company. Those emp...

Sell Network Rail and scrap HS2?

Sell Network Rail and scrap HS2?

09.09.16: Controversial reforms are needed to Britain’s rail network, including selling nearly half of Network Rail and an end to the HS2 project, according to a right-wing think-tank. The new paper from the Adam Smith Institute shows the incre...

TfL introduces new badges to help disabled passengers find seats

TfL introduces new badges to help disabled passengers find seats

02.09.16: Disabled passengers will have an easier time finding a seat in the capital as Transport for London (TfL) unveils new ‘please offer me a seat’ badges. Up to 1,000 people can volunteer for a six-week trial to test the effectivenes...

Carne promises more improvements ahead of London Bridge opening

Carne promises more improvements ahead of London Bridge opening

26.08.16: The Bank Holiday opening of London Bridge’s new concourse marks a turnaround for the capital’s beleaguered rail services, the chief executive of Network Rail has promised. Writing for the Evening Standard and on Network Rail&rsq...

Hate crime increase on the railways following Brexit

Hate crime increase on the railways following Brexit

23.08.16: Worrying new figures indicate that British railways are an increasingly dangerous place for ethnic minority groups following the UK’s vote to leave the European Union. According to figures obtained by the Press Association through a F...

Corbyn’s ambitious Transport Tuesday

Corbyn’s ambitious Transport Tuesday

16.08.16: Just as the Office of National Statistics sparked national outrage as it revealed the RPI figure will hike regulated rail fares by 1.9% next year, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn joined unions outside London Bridge to call for the renationalisation...

Majority rules: We must build HS3 first

Majority rules: We must build HS3 first

12.08.16: The UK’s recent vote to leave the EU has cast doubt on what most industries once perceived as ‘business as usual’. Across rail, there were many questions around the viability of major infrastructure projects that rely on Europe...

More London Bridge delays add to GTR’s misery

More London Bridge delays add to GTR’s misery

05.08.16: Another hole under the tracks at Forest Hill led to services into London Bridge being cancelled last night. Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) advised passengers on its Southern and Thameslink services to avoid using the station as Network Rail...

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latest rail news

Probe launched into SWR and NR performance

26/04/2018Probe launched into SWR and NR performance

An independent review into South Western Railway’s (SWR) performance has been commissioned by the government. Transport secretary, Chris G... more >
Half of London Tube and train journeys made with contactless

25/04/2018Half of London Tube and train journeys made with contactless

Half of all Tube and rail pay as you go journeys are regularly made using contactless payment or mobile devices, the latest figures from TfL have r... more >
High-speed handbacks could save NR £250,000 a week

25/04/2018High-speed handbacks could save NR £250,000 a week

New approaches to engineering could potentially save £250,000 a week by allowing trains to run at higher speeds once work is complete, Networ... more >

editor's comment

23/01/2018Out with the old...

Despite a few disappointing policy announcements, especially for the electrification aficionados amongst us, 2017 was, like Darren Caplan writes on page 20, a year generally marked by positive news for the rail industry. We polished off the iconic Ordsall Chord (p32), hit some solid milestones on Thameslink (p40), progressed on ambitious rolling stock orders (p16), and finally started moving forward on HS2 (p14) ‒ paving the way for a New Ye... read more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. Chris Leech MBE, business community manager at the TOC, gives RTM an update on the innovative scheme. Recognising that young people are more likely to take a risk trespassing on railway tracks, CrossCountry and the Scouts have come together to encourage Britain’s younger generations to be... more > more last word articles >
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'the sleepers' daily blog

How biometrics can help improve health and safety measures on railway construction projects

20/03/2018How biometrics can help improve health and safety measures on railway construction projects

ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE Biometric identity, time and attendance specialists Donseed looks at how biometric technology is already starting to enhance health and safety measures on railway construction projects. Advances in technology are starting to transform the way in which the rail network in the UK is managed, operated and maintained.... more >
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comment

UKRIA 2018 Apology & Statement

04/04/2018UKRIA 2018 Apology & Statement

It is with deep regret that I address the disappointing content in both of our live acts at UKRIA on Thursday 22nd March 2018 and offer my most s... more >
Smart ticketing: The way ahead

13/03/2018Smart ticketing: The way ahead

Jacqueline Starr, managing director of customer experience at the Rail Delivery Group (RDG), runs through the nationwide progress in rolling out ... more >
A benchmark year for HS2

13/03/2018A benchmark year for HS2

Jim Crawford, managing director of Phase 1 at HS2 Ltd, discusses the many critical activities set to take place this year as the mammoth high-spe... more >
The north has a plan

13/03/2018The north has a plan

There has always been an incredible thirst for change in the north. Now, there is finally a plan robust and forward-thinking enough to make it ha... more >

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interviews

Transforming travel in the north west

06/02/2018Transforming travel in the north west

RTM’s Josh Mines talks to Robin Davis, head of new trains at TransPennine Express (TPE), about the huge rolling stock change journey the co... more >
Thameslink: Nearing the end of the line

23/01/2018Thameslink: Nearing the end of the line

RTM’s Josh Mines catches up with Mark Somers, project director for Thameslink, on how the final stages of the programme are progressing and... more >
Modernising journeys in north east England

09/11/2017Modernising journeys in north east England

First Hull Trains is about to embark on the biggest fleet overhaul it has delivered since being set up in 2000. Managing director Will Dunnett te... more >